April 22, 2008

Men's Heavies Split Weekend Races; Beat Army, Lose to Harvard and Princeton

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - It was a weekend marked by a series of highs and lows for MIT's varsity heavyweight crew. The Engineers dropped the Compton Cup to rivals Harvard and Princeton on Saturday, before rallying for an impressive victory against Army on Sunday.

On Saturday, MIT lost to Harvard and Princeton in the Compton Cup, trailing first place Harvard by 24 seconds.

Said head coach Tony Kilbridge, "Harvard and Princeton were clearly much faster, but our time of 6:04 was not a good indication of our speed. Our guys had to cope with Princeton's wake and coaching launch wakes, which made it tough for them to sustain their boat speed."

A better indication of that speed came on Sunday, when the Engineers rowed the 2000-meter course in 5:57, beating Army by 24 seconds.

"We had a much better row today," said Kilbridge, "and we benefited from the same things that hurt us on Saturday. It is much easier to race from in front, and once you break away from a crew, the margin tends to widen beyond the true difference in speed between the crews."

MIT's freshmen also enjoyed a good performance on Sunday, beating Army's frosh by seven seconds.

The heavies have more challenges ahead. After a weekend off, they have back-to-back races against Wisconsin, Dartmouth and Boston University, the weekend of May 3-4.